Quality location data at the centre of efficient delivery
Pioneers in local government partnering, Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils have been working together since 2007 to deliver high-quality front-line services to 160,000 residents, businesses, investors and visitors. While maintaining their political individuality, the Councils work together to improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase agility in their approach to change.
With Adur and Worthing Councils placing quality data at the centre of effective service provision, a prime example of this efficient partnership is the award-winning management and maintenance of their Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG). Once again, they have reinforced their position of excellence with central hub GeoPlace, winning four accolades at this year’s GeoPlace Exemplar Awards, recognising outstanding contributions in the management or use of street and property data in the UK. These awards include:
- Data Quality Award for Addresses (Worthing)
- Best in Region Award for Addresses (Worthing)
- Platinum Award for Address Data (Adur)
- Platinum Award for Address Data (Worthing)
Enabling deeper insights and delivery of more meaningful services through accurate address data
The property landscape across the country is forever changing, with the building of new developments, property conversions and changes of use, be it domestic to commercial or residential to holiday let are just a few examples.
Local authorities are legally obligated to keep abreast of these changes. They are required to provide GeoPlace with regular updates so they can maintain the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) that is shared with Ordnance Survey. With more than 2.7 million address changes every six weeks in Great Britain, this can be a complicated process. As such, using an advanced, feature-rich gazetteer solution is critical for efficiency; accuracy; allocation of Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) and Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRNs) for address verification; and the automation of address changes to GeoPlace.
Moreover, the Councils need to share accurate address data from the LLPG across the organisation, to be able to use that data to provide deeper insights for enabling better understanding of communities and the services they may require.
Using the Aligned Assets platform for address data solutions to drive efficiencies and link disparate data
As a long-standing user of Idox’s Aligned Assets platform for address data solutions, Adur and Worthing Councils are utilising the software’s capabilities to not only create award-winning data, but use that as a platform for linking systems and identifying areas of need.
Una Herring-Green, Senior Addressing Officer/LLPG Custodian, single-handedly manages the LLPG for Adur and Worthing Councils. She comments, “We used to need a team of four to manage the Councils’ address data. Using Idox’s Aligned Assets platform for address data solutions has enabled us to streamline and automate this area of work so much that I can now manage the work alone, meaning my colleagues can focus on other areas of the organisation.”
“Using the address data solutions to maximum effect, I am able to achieve operational excellence time-effectively. It is the diverse range of functionalities the solutions provide that enables me to meet the challenge of producing accurate data within the LLPG that is pivotal to the rest of the organisation.”
Adur and Worthing utilise a number of Idox’s address data solutions to push and pull data to and from different sources to ensure it is the most up-to-date it can be across the whole organisation. For example, it is critical properties are classified correctly in relation to Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates. Changes to these are continual and if they go undetected, they can cost the Councils in lost revenue, as well as potentially impacting on the safety of residents. To enable more efficient cross-referencing, a number of strategic links were created from the Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates systems to the LLPG software, iManage. As a result, accurate billing references are now automatically loaded directly into the gazetteer. By doing this, if a property’s use has changed from residential to a holiday let, the change in Council Tax code not only ensures accurate billing, it can also mean any required health and safety inspections are carried out quickly, allowing better safeguarding of holiday renters. Since implementing these automated cross-references, Herring-Green has saved six hours a week, time that can now be focused elsewhere.
The Councils have also utilised the Street Naming and Numbering solution to fully digitise and standardise the street naming and numbering process. This has created substantial time-efficiencies as well as eliminated the need for cumbersome paper files. Linking directly to the LLPG, once the properties and streets are created, they are pushed straight into the gazetteer, eliminating any delays caused by manual processing.
Adur and Worthing Councils also regularly use the address matching tool for internal matches against the LLPG, while the Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates teams use the address search solution to ensure fast, accurate address look up.
Award-winning data enabling innovative services for communities
By maximising the capabilities of the Aligned Assets platform, Herring-Green has been able to single-handedly maintain the GeoPlace gold standard for address data for Adur and Worthing Councils, deservedly acknowledged by the four Exemplar Awards won in 2022. The Councils continue to enjoy cost and time-efficiencies as a result. And these are just the baseline benefits. As councils start to link their data through the UPRNs, a more targeted approach to service delivery can be undertaken, bringing greater benefits to the community.
At the GeoPlace Conference 2022, Chief Executive of Adur and Worthing Councils, Catherine Howe, shared with industry colleagues how the linking of data, made possible by the UPRNs and USRNs, has enabled the Councils to pursue an innovative piece of work with the Policy and Practice Departments. This has involved focusing on data relating to inequalities so the Councils could make proactive interventions around households they see as shifting from ‘coping’ to ‘not coping’ financially. The Councils then matched that with the other location-based inequality data to find correlations that helped gain a better picture of inequality based on locations. It used this analysis to see how it could start targeting support for a community-led safety net where there was a high incidence of individuals moving into the ‘not coping’ category.
Adur and Worthing Councils have used their exemplary address data to great effect. By utilising the UPRNs as anchors to link numerous datasets across the organisation, they have been able to identify needs within their communities and offer solutions to help resolve them.